Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres honored for UN climate work
Costa Rican Christiana Figueres was awarded the Medal of Paris on Wednesday for helping broker the historic, 195-nation deal to avert climate change that was sealed in the French capital last week.
Figueres, who is the daughter of Costa Rica’s revolutionary leader and three-time president, José “Pepe” Figueres, is executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo presented Figueres the award a few days after the close of the U.N. climate conference known as COP21.
“Happy and proud to have awarded the medal of the city of Paris to Christiana Figueres, a great lady without which the agreement of the COP21 concluded in Paris, would not have been possible,” Hidalgo wrote on her Facebook page.
As the U.N.’s climate chief, Figueres has spent the last five years trying to get U.N. member states closer to an agreement on averting climate disaster, and on Saturday, after nearly a fortnight of grueling negotiations, representatives of nearly 200 countries came to a consensus on a new climate pact.
The deal, which takes effect in 2020, sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial levels, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 C temperature rise.
Costa Rica has pledged to become carbon neutral — meaning greenhouse gas emissions would be cancelled out by carbon sequestration — by 2085. Reforming the country’s transportation sector is key to achieving that goal.
Besides the recognition for Figueres, Paris honored Costa Rica’s commitment to renewable energy during the climate conference by lighting up the Eiffel Tower on Nov. 30 with the phrase “100% Pura Vida.”
Figueres was part of Costa Rica’s international climate change negotiating team before taking the job as U.N. climate chief.
You may be interested
The future of tropical forests restoration is community ledFabíola Ortiz - October 21, 2018
The future of restoring tropical forests should not be exclusively in the hands of governments, argues Rebecca Cole, director of…
Five dead in Costa Rica rafting accidentAFP - October 21, 2018
Four U.S. tourists and a fifth Costa Rican were killed after a river rafting accident on Saturday, the Red Cross…
Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravanAFP - October 20, 2018
Mexican authorities on Saturday allowed dozens of women and children from the Honduran migrant caravan to pass into its territory,…